Monday, August 17, 2009

Homemade Bubble Tea!

I am so excited to share with you the beverage Zach and I prepared at home yesterday, from scratch - bubble tea!! After another valiant effort at the driving range, followed by some halcyon browsing at Barnes and Noble, we were both in the mood for one of our favorite weekend treats, bubble tea. Much like gourmet coffees and other lovely cafe beverages, however, bubble tea isn't exactly the most economical of hobbies, costing nearly $5 per serving at several nearby cafes, and thus, this time, we decided to learn how to make bubble tea at home!

We prepared a very basic milk tea, simply using black tea, 1% milk, and honey,

and soon we were ready to begin the task of introducing the bubbles to our bubble tea! After boiling, soaking,

and rinsing the tapioca pearls,

adding the bubbles to our glasses,

and pouring the chilled tea over our tapioca bubbles, we were quite pleasantly surprised by the uncomplicated nature of the bubble tea creation process! We were initially a bit concerned that our bubble tea wouldn't manifest quite as well as the purchased versions, given that our tapioca pearls were small, unlike the big, black tapioca pearls we've encountered in shops, but actually, we found that our dainty tapioca melded perfectly with the final beverage, adding a jaunty flutter of tiny bubbles to every sip!

Soon we were savoring our refreshing bubble teas, giggling (well, at least I did :-) every time the tapioca bubbles levitated through the straw... :-)

Bubble Tea

(Makes approximately 4 servings...)

4 cups water
4 black tea bags
6 T Honey or agave nectar
1/2 cup small tapioca pearls
4 cups 1% milk or light vanilla soymilk (for the vegan version!)

~ Bring your 4 cups of water to a boil, then remove the water from the heat and allow the tea bags to steep until your tea has reached the desired strength. Remove the tea bags, stir the honey or agave nectar into the tea until dissolved, add more to taste if desired, and then transfer the tea to the fridge to chill.
~ In a saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Stir the tapioca pearls into the boiling water, making sure they don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Let the tapioca boil happily for 25 minutes.
~ After the 25 minutes have elapsed, cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let the tapioca soak for another 25 minutes.
~ Drain the tapioca, which will now vaguely resemble some sort of packing material, in a fine mesh sieve, and rinse well with warm water.
~ In a large pitcher, stir together the chilled tea and the 4 cups milk or soymilk.
~ With a large spoon, gently place the tapioca pearls into the bottoms of 4 tall glasses.
~ Pour the chilled milk and tea mixture over the tapioca pearls...
~ Enjoy festively with a straw!

(Zach enjoying some high tech bubble tea... :-)


The Diva on a Diet said...

I can't believe I've never had bubble tea ... odd, given that I'm such a big tea drinker. You make it looks so easy and sound so fun, I'm going to have to try it myself too. Congrats on doing it yourself, Astra, how very cool, indeed! :)

Gina said...

haha, high tech bubble tea, I like it! I've never made bubble tea, or even tasted it! I've seen it a lot lately in the blog world, so I'll have to try it sometime, it just looks so fun!

Susan said...

Cool! I just ordered giant black tapioca pearls (w/ straws (!)) for bubble tea on Amazon this weekend. I've read so many near-miss accounts of recipes lately, I was afraid of failure, but I shall consult you, Astra, when I get my stash in. Thanks! Looks marvelous!

Adam said...

I never thought to actually make that at home, but this is a great idea. If those fancy places can do something so easy, then why can't we?

All bubbles up the nose and giggling aside, I'm glad it turned out well, and I picture just hanging out on a porch with some tea and a book, or guitar. Good times my friend :)

Liz Anne said...

I've seen bubble tea before but don't understand what the tapioca adds? Is there a flavor to them, or does it add a cool texture?

Peanut Butter Swirl said...

thank you for this recipe!! it sounds so good :)

Gita said...

Those tapioca pearls brings back memories...I used to have them in fruit juices...your buuble tea looks so refreshing :)

Kerstin said...

I can't leave Chinatown without getting bubble tea! I'm so impressed you made your own, they look fabulous!! :)

Jen said...

I am making this now! I love bubble tea, and I will be very excited if it turns out well. One question - how do you store the remaining servings? Do you keep the tapioca separate or mix it all together?

Anonymous said...

I just tried this recipe, and it worked out great, thank you very much ! :)

Anonymous said...

Just a comment. The "bubble" part of bubble tea is actually referring to the bubbles formed by the traditional shaking of the tea, not the bubble like form of the tapioca. But your recipe aounds yummy